View Full Version : forcing the nap issue
03-16-2009, 03:06 PM
my 17 month old has always slept 12 hours a night, and had his 3 hour daytime nap (usually between 11-2pm) since he was about 9 months old. In the past month or two, he's not fallen asleep for his nap about a handful of times, and just plays in the crib alone (babbling and wrestling with his teddy). Even if he doesn't fall asleep, I'd leave him there about an hour. 95% of the time, he'll fall asleep. But more recently, he'll fall asleep about 75-90 minutes LATER, and stay asleep about 2-3 hours. Now its affecting what time he goes to bed for the night!
So what i'm worried about is this: I feel as though I'm forcing him to nap, even though he's not sleepy. is 90 minutes too long to leave him in the crib (playing) until he falls asleep? I feel as though I'm being cruel. I've tried putting him to nap earlier. didn't work. I also have a nap/bed time routine.
I know many toddlers do not nap. But if my son does not get his nap in, he'll become really cranky by 3-4pm. So I know that he needs it.
03-16-2009, 03:29 PM
You could try waking him from his nap, or wake him in the morning an hour early. At his age he only really needs 14 hours of sleep total; so waking him a little earlier may help. Good luck.
03-16-2009, 03:43 PM
I wouldn't say you are "forcing" him to take a nap. You know what's best for him right now- and kids that age need a rest. Whether they actually sleep or not- he isn't upset about being in there. I'm a big proponent that kids need some alone/quiet time to function properly.
This may just be a phase and he'll get back in the groove in a few weeks.
03-16-2009, 04:08 PM
Maybe move his nap time to 12 instead of 11? Around that age my DD shortened her nap to 1.5 hrs (it had been between 2 and 3 hours) so we moved her nap time closer to noon than 11.
90% of the time my DD can be heard playing and talking for 30 minutes or more after we leave the room before she falls asleep for her nap. Like you, sometimes I feel guilty for forcing the issue but she too is beyond cranky on the days she doesn't nap. That tells me that she needs her nap, its not me just wanting her to go to sleep. And the days she doesn't take a nap she has a much rougher night because she is too tired to sleep well. So, naps are good for them! And I always tell my DH that if she isn't fussing just let her be! Even if she's awake and playing quietly in her room at nap time, we let her be. Laying down is also a form of re-energizing although not as much as actual sleeping. Its not like you're leaving him for 90 minutes while he's screaming, he just playing happily by himself. :)
I would echo what Cay said on rousing him at the appropriate time. Its so hard to wake them when they are sleeping soundly, but I've had to do it with my DD when her schedule gets out of whack and it normally puts her back in her normal rhythm. What time is his bed time? We pushed our DD's bedtime from 7:30 to 8:00 right at 18 months when we moved her nap time to noon. It seemed to have worked out well for her.
Best of luck!
03-16-2009, 08:04 PM
I tried moving his nap time later and he still takes about an hour or more to fall asleep while playing (it used to take only 15 minutes). I ended up having to change his bed time from 6pm to 7:30pm because of it. Only thing left to try is waking him an hour earlier in the morning to see if we can get back to the older time table like cay suggested.
Thanks guys. your replies made me feel better. I'm so glad someone didn't say, "90 minutes?! OMG, you're a monster!" :-)
03-24-2009, 09:14 PM
If he's sleeping 12 hours at night, he probably doesn't need a long nap during the day. Instead of putting him down during the day, read to him at the same time and if he's tired, he'll fall asleep, if not keep reading (great bonding time). My sons favorite right now is Ladybug Baby Bug, by Janice and Mark Perkins. In the story, the baby ladybug falls asleep thinking of her loving family. He may get the idea you want him to do the same thing.
03-25-2009, 12:26 PM
I also have a 17 month old, and I'd be thrilled if I could get him to sleep 12 hours!! But, he used to. My son sleeps about 9-11 hours at night and lately only about 1.5 hours for his nap. Now, on the weekends, at home, he may get only an hour. But he's also very active during the day and sleeps better those nights. With the nice weather coming (at least where I live), he's outside more and sleeps better. The fact that your son takes so long to fall asleep, is normal and his naps will be getting shorter from now until 3-4 where he'll no longer need one. That doesn't necessarily mean that he's not getting enough sleep. His body will tell him if he needs more. So, it's ok that he's not on his usual schedule. That means he's growing up...and that's the fun part...until they're old enough to talk back and disobey you...fun.
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